Taking care of your elderly parents or grandparents can be a difficult task because not only will it require a lot of your time and attention, but it will often leave you stressed out. While the elderly may not realize how much help they need, we often do see it. We know that they need help physically getting around their home, making meals, going to the store, and sometimes even getting a shower. They also need help medically getting to the doctor’s office or remembering to take their medication each day. No one can take care of an elderly family member on their own so it is critical that you get everyone in your family involved in taking care of them. Not only does this benefit the elderly parent, but it also can bring a family closer together. Here are some of the things you can do as an entire family with an elderly family member.
One of the main things that you will likely need to do with your elderly family member is to help them run errands. Many elderly people cannot drive, or should not drive, and they need to rely on the different members of their family to help them get around. While you will need to do the driving you can use the Zinger Chair as an alternative to a wheelchair. This chair can help your elderly parent easily move around the store, doctors office, or pharmacy. The chair can fit into small cars, fold in less than 10 seconds, and be carried like a suitcase. Running errands is a great way to help teach young children about responsibility in both caring for family members and the importance of doing errands. Helping your elderly parent run errands will take up a lot of time so it is important to get the who family involved.
Spending Time Together
One of the most important ways to help build an elderly parent’s morale is to simply spend time with them. Rather than them feeling like they are a burden on the family, you and the other members of your family should devote several hours each week to just spending time together. You can enjoy meals together, playing cards, playing board games, talking, reading, playing with children in your family, or going for a short walk around the block. It is crucial that families spend time together to allow for bonding and improved emotional morale.
No one wants to live in a dirty home and elderly parents and grandparents are likely not able to clean their home like they used to. They likely have difficulty pushing around a heavy vacuum and cannot bend over to clean and dust under tables and chairs. Depending on their ability to stand they may even have trouble washing dishes and doing laundry.
If you have children in your family, you should bring them over to help them clean their grandparents home. This also helps teach them responsibility and allows them to spend time with their family. Young children will likely enjoy getting to help because they will feel a sense of accomplishment.
Maintaining Frequent Contact
It can be difficult to visit an elderly parents home multiple times a week to check in on them, but it is crucial that you remain in contact with them each day. You may want to teach your elderly parents how to use technology so that you can easily connect with them on the phone or even on FaceTime or Skype. If you live far away from them, maintaining contact can be a challenge but technology makes it a little bit easier.
If you notice that your elderly parent is getting bored sitting at home each day, you may want to consider taking them with you to work one day. Not only will this be good for them physically and emotionally, but it will also give you a chance to bond more with your elderly parent. You can show them what you do and give them a sense of purpose. They will likely be happy to get out of the home and spend the day with you. If taking them to your work is not an option, you should still get them out of the house on a regular basis and take them to the park, mall, or even on vacation.